The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) established as a goal for federal decision-making, achieving a balance between use and preservation of natural and cultural resources. NEPA requires all federal agencies to 1) identify and evaluate potential impacts of their actions on the human environment, which includes natural and cultural resources as well as socioeconomic considerations; 2) use the information gained through the evaluation in deciding what action to take and disclose any environmental consequences that may result from that action; and 3) diligently attempt to involve the interested and affected public before any decision affecting the environment is made.

To comply with NEPA, the National Park Service is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to analyze alternatives for the General Management Plan for Assateague Island National Seashore. The following summarizes the steps in the planning process.

* indicates the current step in the planning process
Step 1. Define Park Purpose; Identify Issues and Needs
Step 2. Conduct External Scoping
Step 3. Develop Preliminary Alternatives
Step 4. Identify Environmental Impacts and Select Preferred Alternative
Step 5. Prepare Draft GMP and Environmental Impact Statement
Step 6. Public Review of Draft GMP and EIS
Step 7. Analysis of Public Comment
Step 8. Prepare Final GMP and Decision Document
Step 9. Release Final GMP and Decision Document to the Public *